Sunday, July 21, 2013


We visited what is supposed to be one of the 10 best ecological destinations of the World (self-proclaimed) this week located in Sabana de La Mar on the north shore of the island.  But first a little background-----
Sabana de la Mar is a relatively small fishing town sitting on the north shore of the island.  It would be a decent tourist attraction if they could clean up the beach and get a decent hotel.

The bottle made it without the message


Gran Aparta Hotel La Bahia
We stayed Thursday night in the Gran Aparta Hotel de Bahia in Sabana de la Mar.  It was a 1 star- 3 story building.  (no toilet seats, shower consisting of a pipe coming out of the wall with cold water only, 1 sheet on the lumpy mattress and one sheet to pull over you, water dripping from the ceiling light bulb, 3 different floor levels inside the rooms to trip you if you aren’t alert, power black outs, an air conditioner of marginal service, the sound of generators and motos during the night, etc).  It was a fun place to spend the night.
The “Pollera Mi Papa” was across the street from the hotel.  The owner receives about 300 live chickens in the evening and by the end of the next day the chickens have been killed, plucked and sold and the pens made ready for the next batch.
Wallace ready to make a chicken run
Our primary purpose for coming to Sabana de La Mar was to visit the hospital and respond to their request for help.
Dr. Walker examining the surgery room

When you come to the hospital, you bring your own food and bedding.  We didn’t see anything that a hospital was equipped to do except give you I.V. and hope for a better day.  We will be purchasing some things the hospital needs.
Who named this as the best ecological attraction in the world hasn’t visited very many places, but without debating the point, our first step was to meet the “guide” the Sabana de la Mar branch president had arranged for us.
Pepino (the "Guide") & his wife and Wallace & Edith

Ray & Jill Johnson; Jill Dunford; Wallace & Edith Haws; Tim and Marsha Walker; Vickie & Chuck Rucker; Pepina, wife, daughter in law and grandchildren

After what seemed like endless negotiations and changing of story and wading through some pretty deep sob stories, we finally arrived at a price and went on the tour.  Of course by the end of the day, Pepino who was supposed to be a “good deal” arranged by the Branch President had taken us for about the same amount of money we had paid when we went to the north shore and took the same trip with Wesley and Sheredith in December that included a stop at a resort beach and a barbecue lunch.  But oh well, we supported the local economy.

Wallace & Edith; Jill & Rob Dunford, Vickie & Chuck Rucker; Tim & Marsha Walker, Ray & Jill Johnson

Wallace found another carving of one of his ancestors
Remains of an abandoned pier

After the boat ride into the Haitises Park, our “guide” took us to the Paraiso Cano Hotel where we were supposed to get a good deal on the meal.  As it turned out, we paid the full price of the meal plus an entrance fee and the guide got the tip under the table.  We waited 2 hours for our meal that consisted of the chickens we had seen killed in the morning and had laid on the kitchen counter until the afternoon until we arrived.
The hotel is in a beautiful setting with streams and swimming holes everywhere.

Wallace pretending to put the last stone on one of his famous stood pillars

Wallace celebrating his 65th with an auyama pie and ice cream


  1. I hope you don't get sick eating the chicken or get bed bugs. Makes the Motel 6 look 5 star.

  2. What a colorful adventure with enough variety its gone fowl (foul) when you are hauling chickens on mopeds. to places no one has ever heard of... but I suppose that is what makes it such an adventure.
    Dorcie doesn't envy any moped riding experiences, but enjoys reading of the adventures.
    Its good to read of the good you are doing to help the people live better lives.
    Hang in there

  3. AWESOME! I did a similar trip with missionaries at Sabana 20 years ago. Fun and beautiful!